Democrat Dean Phillips’ campaign manger suggested that Republican rhetoric is to blame for the recent bomb threat targeted at prominent Democrats, such as President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
“I don’t know whether flipping the House is enough to put a stop to this madness, but just imagine what it will be like if we don’t. Knock. Call. Vote. Today,” Campaign Manager Zach Rodvold tweeted, linking to an article about Wednesday’s attempted mass bombing.
I don’t know whether flipping the House is enough to put a stop to this madness, but just imagine what it will be like if we don’t.
Knock. Call. Vote. Today. https://t.co/37qsEJ0wU6
— Zach Rodvold (@zrodvold) October 24, 2018
“It starts with the guy in the White House and no one—especially not the majority in Congress—is doing anything about it,” Rodvold added.
Shortly after the attempted attacks, however, President Donald Trump held a press conference at the White House where he called for unity and condemned the “despicable” acts.
“The safety of the American people is my highest priority,” Trump stated. “I just want to tell you that in these times we have to unify. We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have to no place in the United States of America.”
The safety of the American People is my highest priority. I have just concluded a briefing with the FBI, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Secret Service… pic.twitter.com/nEUBcq4NOh
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2018
Phillips’ opponent, Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN-03) also denounced the “appalling act of terror,” saying he is “confident those responsible will be brought to justice.”
This is an appalling act of terror, and I’m confident those responsible will be brought to justice. I’m grateful to the @SecretService, the US Capitol Police and all other law enforcement for their diligence and professionalism. https://t.co/Cd8NLzO9CA
— Rep. Erik Paulsen (@RepErikPaulsen) October 24, 2018
Other Republicans, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was shot during the 2017 Congressional baseball practice, spoke out against the violence.
“These attempted attacks that have been made are beyond criminal, they are acts of pure terror. Violence and terror have no place in our politics or anywhere else in our society,” Scalise tweeted. “I have experienced first-hand the effects of political violence, and am committed to using my voice to speak out against it wherever I can.”
These attempted attacks that have been made are beyond criminal, they are acts of pure terror. Violence and terror have no place in our politics or anywhere else in our society.
— Rep. Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) October 24, 2018
On the campaign trail, Phillips has been highly critical of Paulsen for his negative attacks ad, and called his reelection bid “one of the most dishonest and negative campaigns in Minnesota history” in a Monday Star Tribune column.
“As one who believe in truth, decency and thoughtful debate, I’ve made it the mission of my campaign to end the very kind of politics practiced by Erik Paulsen, and reinspire people to engage in conversation once again,” Phillips wrote. “A return to such decency is possible, but it will take a new generation of independent-minded leaders in Congress.”
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